There’s no denying Taylor Swift is a successful entertainer. (I don’t say musician because much of her work is auto-tuned and her songs almost exclusively focus on ex-boyfriends.) That said, Emily Yahr of The Washington Post is unfortunately mistaken when she refers to Swift as a “public relations genius.”
Let’s dive into why Yahr makes this claim. Swift is praised in Yahr’s blog for making a contradicting move to Beyonce’s famous album release from late 2013. Instead of dropping the album with no lead up like Beyonce, Swift maintains an old-school style of PR by continually leaking songs and attracting publicity about the album in the upcoming months to the release. She visited morning shows, did full-length features in specific magazines, and continually created a conversation about the album months in advance. From an objective point of view, it seems as though Swift’s PR team had done everything right. To be fair, they did run a quality campaign. However, it doesn’t make sense to praise a campaign when it is compared to one that was more successful.
Beyonce’s campaign had a much different approach in that there was absolutely no lead up, no conversation and no publicity leading up to the album release. Instead, Beyonce dropped the album without warning and the Internet and fandom community went crazy without having to do much more work. The old saying, “work smarter, not harder” seems to fit this situation. If we consider the technological advancements and how they have affected society’s communication, the attention span of many individuals has drastically fallen. While Swift’s campaigning was thorough, the reason that Beyonce’s was more successful was her team’s ability to know her audience and understand how they would want music delivered. Instead of leading these people on for months and losing their attention by the time the album releases, Swift needs to take notes from Beyonce’s team and go back to the drawing board.